- Born on June 2, 1957, Mr Nyenze was a close ally of Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
- He touched off a political firestorm in Ukambani when he and former Kitui Senator David Musila endorsed the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze has lost the battle with colon cancer, a disease he had resiliently fought for close to a decade. He was 60.
In the days leading up to his death at 7.50am, there were times he would ask his wife Edith to “release” him, saying his time had come.
His widow emotionally recalled yesterday: “He would tell me, ‘Please release me, I’m ready. I’ve served the people, I’m right with God, and I’m ready to go.”
“I would not release him. I would encourage him.”
Mrs Nyenze said that when she left him at Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday night, he was strong enough to feed himself and could even struggle to walk. She, however, sensed a “difference” in the way he bade her goodbye.
“The ‘bye’ was different from the way he says it other times,” said Mrs Nyenze.
“But before then I’d prayed for him and told him I was leaving him in the hands of God. But I did not mean to release him.”
Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, a brother-in-law of Mr Nyenze’s, said the cancer treatment regime had caused the MP’s lungs to weaken. As a result, he contracted pneumonia during the campaigns for the August 8 General Election.
“The lungs had really been compromised,” he said. “So, he had difficulties breathing.”
It is for that reason that Mr Nyenze showed up in Parliament on August 31 carrying an oxygen tank and in a breathing mask as he was sworn in.
Mr Wambua said the MP was in hospital for three weeks and he visited him on Tuesday.
“As usual, we spoke,” said Mr Wambua.